CRUISE MOVES

The race is on as international ships sail off on repositioning cruises that will take them into Australasian waters for the summer cruise season Down Under.

As australiancruisingnews.com notes, it is no accident that when winter moves into the northern hemisphere, cruise companies send their fleets off to chase the sun.

A bird's eye view of the pool deck on Celebrity Solstice which spends her year between Alaska and Australia.
A bird’s-eye view of the pool deck on Celebrity Solstice which spends her year between Alaska and Australia. The cruise ship will be given an extensive $A11-million revitalisation in dry-dock in Singapore before her summer Down Under.

For many seasoned cruise lovers, a repositioning voyage is perfect. It is longer than the usual 14-night (or less) cruise, there are many more sea days (with no ports of call), and the ship will cross mighty oceans, or cut through iconic canals such as the Suez or Panama, or visit several tropical islands that are not normally featured on a one-cruise itinerary.

Right now many international cruise ships, which have spent several months in scenic Alaska, are sailing off to warmer climes. Some will sail down the California coast to Mexico, or to Central America, or through the Panama Canal for the Caribbean islands, or to Miami (Florida).

Others many have spent summer in the Mediterranean, and are sailing west on a trans-Atlantic voyage to warmer waters in Florida and the Caribbean.

Others again will have their sights on Australasia.

Holland America’s Noordam, which spent the northern summer in Alaska, is already sailing from Vancouver (Canada) for Sydney (Australia) and the southern summer. Later Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas will sail from Seattle (USA) to Australia via Hawaii, and the South Pacific islands of Fiji, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia.

At the same time Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice is sailing for 19-nights from Honolulu (Hawaii) to Australia via French Polynesia and New Zealand. On arrival in Sydney she sails off again on a 14-night cruise to Singapore, via Queensland and the Northern Territory (Australia), and Indonesia, where she will spend nine days in dry-dock for an extensive $11-million revitalisation, before returning to Australia for the summer.

Also sailing south from Hawaii are Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas and Carnival’s Carnival Legend.

Other cruise ships have spent a season in Asian waters sailing between China, Japan, and Vietnam, and will have their sights on Australia for the summer,  including Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess, which cruises from Beijing (China) in mid-October for Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia, and on to the Australia ports of Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, where she home ports for summer.

Finally, sailing from China to Australia is Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, the world’s sixth largest cruise ship, which is certain to be the “talk of the town” when she arrives Down Under in December.

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